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Environmental Compliance Assistance in the United States

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Environmental Compliance Assistance in the United States Catherine McCabe Deputy Assistant Administrator Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Environmental Compliance Assistance in the United States


1
Environmental Compliance Assistance in the
United States
  • Catherine McCabe
  • Deputy Assistant Administrator
  • Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • December 2007

2
Topics
  • Overview of Compliance Assistance in the U.S.
  • Key Facts about Compliance Assistance Centers
  • History of the Centers Program
  • Center Management Staffing, Funding
  • Features
  • Center Models
  • Lessons Learned/ Results
  • Compliance Assistance Resources

3
Overview of Compliance Assistance in the United
States
  • Compliance Assistance is one tool used to
    address environmental problems. The other tools
    are
  • Compliance Monitoring (inspections,
    self-reporting)
  • Compliance Incentives (audits)
  • Enforcement
  • Voluntary, Non-regulatory Programs
  • Often used together as integrated strategies to
    solve problems

4
Compliance Assistance What is It?
  • Activities, tools or technical assistance which
    provide clear and consistent information for two
    key groups
  • The regulated community to help them understand
    and meet obligations under environmental laws
  • Compliance assistance providers who help the
    regulated community in complying with
    environmental regulations
  • Tools include web sites, plain-language guides,
    fact sheets, and training

5
Compliance Assistance Providers
  • EPA
  • State government
  • Local government
  • Trade associations
  • Non-government Organizations (NGOs)
  • Academia
  • .Working in Partnership

6
EPA and its Partners Work Together to
  • Develop and deliver assistance resources
  • Maintain a repository of information on
    assistance resources
  • Consistently measure results of assistance

7
Why Do Compliance Assistance?
  • Regulated entities need education particularly
    small businesses and local government (over
    80,000 local government units 20 million small
    businesses in U.S.)
  • Often, staff is not dedicated to the oversight of
    their environmental obligations
  • Environmental requirements continually change
  • EPA cannot provide direct on-site assistance to
    more than a fraction of the regulated entities

8
What are the Benefits of Providing Compliance
Assistance?
  • Prevents violations from occurring
  • Simplifies compliance requirements
  • Information can be targeted to industry and
    business sectors (EPA has aimed primarily at
    small and medium-sized businesses
  • Reaches large audiences (as compared to
    case-by-case approach of enforcement)

9
EPA-Sponsored Compliance Assistance Centers
  • The Centers are internet websites
  • Centers provide comprehensive, easy to understand
    compliance information for a specific industry or
    government sector
  • Managed through partnership between governmental
    and nongovernmental groups

10
Key Center Facts
  • The Centers
  • Act as first-stop information source
  • Identify the federal environmental regulations
    that apply to sector
  • Provide guidance on how to comply with
    regulations
  • Identify pollution prevention approaches that can
    save money
  • 15 Centers currently operating
  • Two new Centers coming on line in 2008/2009

11
Development of the Centers Program
  • First Centers created in 1996
  • U.S. legislature provided initial funding to
    establish a few Centers
  • Creating a central Centers Platform saved money
    and allowed new Centers to come on-line more
    efficiently.

12
Compliance Assistance Centers
  • Services
  • Border Center
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive Service and Repair
  • Automotive Recycling
  • Health Care
  • Paints and Coatings
  • Printing
  • Transportation
  • Education Sector (pending)
  • Manufacturing
  • Metal Finishing
  • Printed Wiring Board
  • Construction
  • Chemical Manufacturing
  • Food processing (pending)
  • Government
  • Local Government
  • Federal Facilities
  • Tribes

13
Center Management Funding
  • Government funding for most Centers is granted
    through competitive process
  • 5-year grant to applicant with best project
    proposal for sector specific center
  • Over time, gradual reduction in funding for
    individual Centers until a base level of funding
    is reached
  • Dollars saved are used to fund new Centers

14
Center Management Other revenue sources
  • Subscription fees
  • Content development for commercial websites
  • Training
  • Web-based advertisement

15
Center Management Staffing
  • Centers are staffed by grantees/ contractors
  • EPA provides support and oversight primarily with
    Grant Management staff (2-3 people)
  • Additional EPA staff available to provide
    technical expertise on as-needed basis
  • EPA staff holds quarterly calls and annual
    meetings with Center team

16
Center Models
  • Most Centers managed by trade associations
    colleges/universities or other nongovernmental
    organizations
  • Exceptions are 3 EPA-owned and operated Centers
  • Agriculture Center
  • FedCenter (for federal agencies)
  • Tribal Center

17
Agriculture Center Model
  • Web-based Center but
  • - managed and funded by EPA
  • - supported by 2 EPA staff who are located in
    geographic area with many farms

18
Evolution of Centers FeaturesFrom Links to
Streaming Videos
  • Center features evolving over time
  • Virtual Plant Tours
  • On-line Training
  • Emissions Calculators
  • Selected Compliance Environmental News
  • Discussion Groups
  • On-Line Ask the Expert
  • Email Update Service

19
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20
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21
Lessons Learned
  • Strong enforcement program helps assistance
  • Active assistance program helps enforcement
  • Use assistance with other tools
  • Measure outcomes of assistance

22
EPA Compliance Assistance Resources on the
Internet
  • www.epa.gov/compliance/assistance
  • www.epa.gov/clearinghouse
  • www.assistancecenters.net
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